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SSD Celebrates Juneteenth

JuneteenthJune 19, 2023 - Today, June 19, SSD celebrates Juneteenth as a day of recognition and celebration of African American freedom and achievement. SSD stands in solidarity with all students, staff, and community members who have experienced hardships, mistreatment, or harassment due to the color of their skin. The District honors and recognizes the contributions that African Americans have made and continue to make toward the betterment of our nation.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million enslaved people as free men and women. On June 18, 1865, more than two years later, over 250,000 enslaved Texas residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished and the Civil War had ended. Slavery did not end in the U.S. until the 13th amendment was passed, so this date began to be recognized as a time to celebrate freedom and emancipation, eventually transforming into a holiday  that honors African American culture, traditions, sacrifices, and accomplishments in the United States. Juneteenth, a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” is an important milestone in U.S. history, as it began to lay the foundation of freedom for all rather than a few.

Juneteenth is often considered that nation’s second independence day, despite remaining largely unknown to most Americans. After years of turmoil and strife, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday in 1979. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a U.S. federal holiday. It is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared a holiday in 1986.

Special School District buildings, schools, and programs will be closed Monday, June 19, 2023, in observance of Juneteenth. Partner districts will follow summer programming schedules specific to their District. Transportation staff should follow their route schedules.